HomeIndustry SectorsEnergy EfficiencyGreen buildings occupy discussions at UN Climate Summit

Green buildings occupy discussions at UN Climate Summit

Selected European firms have committed to the development of ‘nearly zero energy buildings’ (nZEB) for new build by 2020, and refurbished buildings by 2030

Last week, a Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, designed to boost low-carbon development in the sector, was launched at the UN Climate Summit in Paris. Over 60 organisations and several countries have joined the alliance.

Climate Action reported that the countries include Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Senegal, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the US.

The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has committed to a ‘global market transformation’ to achieve both net zero carbon new building and the energy efficiency retrofit of existing stock by 2050, Climate Action reported.

Green buildings taking off

The ‘Moving towards net zero buildings’ commitment, has been signed by 16 European firms including Acciona, British Land, Doosan, Ferrovial, GlaxoSmithKline, Hammerson, Heathrow, Interface, JLL, Kingfisher, Land Securities, Lloyd’s Banking Group, Philips, Skanska, Sky, and Tesco.

Their commitment includes the development of ‘nearly zero energy buildings’ (nZEB) for new build by 2020, and refurbished buildings by 2030.

Climate Action said that: “The plan outlines key actions that the signatories will take, including reducing energy intensity across corporate property estates; collaborating across the supply chain to set specific targets and engaging with policy makers on progress, reporting and progress towards zero energy goals.”

Going green is ‘smart’

A green building should also be a smart one when focusing on becoming more energy efficient.

Neil Cameron, General Manager of Johnson Controls Building Efficiency, a global diversified technology and industrial player, said in an industry insight that by “combining smart grid and smart building technologies improves reliability and security, while reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.”

He highlighted that a recent Energy Efficiency Indicator study, showed that 44% of facility executives in the US selected smart building technology as one of the top three technologies expected to have the greatest price-performance improvement over the next 10 years.

“The time to deploy smart building technologies is now. Doing so could avoid $33 billion in energy costs and eliminate 160 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually by the year 2030,” Cameron said.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.